Information overload, its effects and role of meditation
Excessive data input than the brain/mind is processing during the day.
Brain/mind can be compared to a quantum computer where the brain is the hardware and the mind/thoughts being the software.
The hardware is made of 100 billions neurons interconnected by 100 trillions connections.
The software is the electromagnetic waves transporting the constant incoming data thru the connections or synapses all over the brain.
We are producing between 70,000 and 100,000 thoughts daily excluding our subconscious thinking.
Information overloaded is also called: infobesity, infoanxiety and IT addiction.
Japan was the first one to open 2 hospitals especially dedicated to this new addiction.
In 2018 a North American spends an average of 11 hours absorbing all kind of data from any screen (TV, cell, ipad, working computers, videogames, text, voicemail, print media, radio…… to name a few) .
It was 8.7 hours.in 2016 and the current rend is exponential.
There is a direct correlation between amount of absorbed data and its addictive impacts.
Sources of data input:
For simplification I will divide the sources of information as internal i.e. from our own body and external from the environment.
Our brain/mind is processing continuously billion of peripheral data providing from every part of the body in order to function properly.
Rational and emotional thinking are forms of data generation.
External info is absorbed by our 5 senses: viewing, listening, etc.
As mentioned before the sources of sensorial information overload is almost infinite especially with IT.
Portable devices such as cell phone are providing an endless data information 24/7.
Multi-media info is at least 80% negative content since market research shows that viewers are attracted to drama.
Negative impacts of Info overload:
We are just starting to analyze these impacts. Among the most frequent are:
Anxiety, irritability, lack of sleep, lack of concentration, poor social interaction, chronic fatigue
Less productivity: it takes an average of 20min. to return to a specific task after receiving an email.
Stress, procrastination, feeling of hopelessness, even depression.
Intel Corporation has calculated that Information overload syndrome on its staff costs around 1 $ Billion of productivity and health issues.
This continuous information overload must be processed by the brain/mind at a potential cost of energy deficit since continuous mental data processing is using significant amount of energy that the brain/mind must generate
What about meditation you may ask?
Since we are becoming more addicted to info of all sources pertinent or not, learning to reduce data input can be difficult if not impossible.
This is where Zen practice becomes very effective. During mindfulness meditation, the amount of data input is limiting just to one that is by focusing on x or, y . This is a form of temporally mental relaxation.
So…..once a while just unplug to unload your brain/mind.